So late breaking wife comes downstairs about an hour ago to my home office, which is very unusual as she very rarely bothers me during the work day in personally, usually just sends me IMs. She's in tears.

I ask her what's wrong, and she says she knows how unhappy I've been about the sex life, but that she's actually been in a lot of pain...ever since her last long run of 9 miles, both her hip joints are killing her, she can barely sit or stand or pick our boys up without burning pain. That run happened 2 weeks before our little "have it out meeting", and by the pain had died down somewhat, so she thought the sex would be fine. But after the sex she was so sore the next day she could barely keep up with the boys. Again, she thought it was just inflammation, took lots of advil, and it was manageable again when she went on her work trip this past weekend.

But then the hike in the national park set it off all over again, and then spending another 6 hours in the car driving afterwards, she was on fire by the time she got home. She knew I was expecting it but she literally couldn't do it, even lifting her leg sideways a tiny bit caused burning, shooting pain. She knew she had to get looked at but knew it was the weekend and couldn't get to an orthopedist until Monday, and basically covered up for that fact with her Aunt Flo excuses. But she could tell I didn't believe her, and her issue was no better on Sunday.

She went in this morning after dropping our boys at a backup daycare, and the news was grim - x-rays showed torn labrums on both hips and her hip sockets are all rough, showing it was a long term partially genetic issue. She got copies of the x-rays to show me to prove this. She's getting an MRI tomorrow to confirm, but looking like surgery for both hips in sequence.

I'm totally floored, and frankly feel like a sack of dog dung. I tell her I'm sorry but also upset that she felt the need to hide all this from me, that our trust in each other had fallen that low. I hugged her and told her I would be there whatever the outcome and to not worry about sex, she needs to get healthy first.

So that's all I have to say....I know many will have commentary as to whether she is being truthful but the x-rays and the MRI appointment sheet for tomorrow are enough for me. Have to take her at her word, just hoping for prayers and thoughts for a good physical outcome.
ThankfulDude ThankfulDude
41-45, M
18 Responses Aug 18, 2014

Between this story and the other elkclan linked below, I think you need some serious therapy, for yourself. You sound really easy to manipulate. You sound like you don't know how to be assertive with your wants and needs. You are dealing with issues such as a mentally ill mother, that likely led to your lack of ability to deal with emotionally manipulative people like your wife.
Figuring out you're worth more than the sh*t sandwich you've been dealt is a long journey, but it may go a long way to ensuring you don't pass on your gullibility and easy-to-manipulate nature to your kids.
Good luck, you need it.

OK everyone commenting on MD's story - THIS is the one you need to read:

I have had severe hip pain due to having such a severely deteriorated hip joint that I will need hip replacement surgery. When I have excruciating hip pain, even when I'm on a high dose of Vicodin-strength pain killers, I move slowly and walk with a cane. If your wife were having severe hip pain, there's no way that she could have hidden it from you or would have chosen to run 9 miles or take a long hike. She may have a hip problem, but I don't believe the pain is as severe as she is suggesting, certainly not severe enough to prevent her having sex.

Incidentally, while I still eventually will need hip surgery, after 2 bouts of physical therapy, I am able to walk and move normally without using pain meds. I also have plenty of pain-free vigorous sex with my post sexless marriage lover.

Thank you for posting some *facts* about your experience with this health problem. I wish, every time there's a post about a refuser with a health problem, that somebody with actual experience would post some facts about it like you did.

Health problems are the most guilt-inducing excuses in the refuser arsenal. You feel like you're a selfish ***** or bastard if you aren't *delighted* to give up anything fun in life so you can be a live-in servant to the health problem.

Yes...but. Everyone's health problems are different. The same condition affects people differently. I think for these refusers...they don't want sex anyway or their libidos are so fragile that maybe the pain really does put them off. People who really like sex, well - we find that the endorphins are good for our pain. I wrote about my experience with knee pain and sex and I can guarantee you that I had some really painful experiences during sex with my lover and I know he has too. But we both love sex, so we just changed positions and moved on. He once had some weird shoulder thing that really knocked him out - when he had that we had to really be imaginative to accommodate - he was in pain every which way. But he still wanted sex and I still wanted to have sex with him in a way that would make him comfortable enough to do so.

Let's say her hip pain is as bad as she says. OK. But the fact is she wasn't having sex with him before the hip pain and she isn't willing to engage in other types of sexual intimacy.

Physical therapy helped me delay my hip replacement surgery and allows me to, in general, have no hip pain despite not taking pain medication. Physical therapists also can tell your wife ways to have sex that would not stress the hips.

Pleasure can be experienced in several ways. Try a position or technique that feels good to both of you.

Her physical condition may be valid.

But it appears there may be a mental or emotional block too.

Something really isn't right here. Why would she not be honest about the hip pain in the first place? Why wouldn't she say when she got in - my hips are on fire and not in a good way! I'm definitely not saying that the hip issue isn't real, but that something really isn't right about this.

If you really want sex with your lover, you will find a way. My lover and I both have knee issues, his worse than mine. We had sex when both of us had major flare ups at the same time. It was sometimes amusingly awkward, it was occasionally really painful in the wrong position, but we found ways to do it and it was awesome.

There are plenty of ways to have sexual intimacy that don't put a lot of pressure on your hips. I don't hear that she wants this or is willing to try some of these other methods. She still has a mouth and hands, right?

At first I thought fixing this musical instrument was her way to go have an affair. After this story, you know, I'm pretty sure of it. "She got copies of the x-rays to prove this" Do you hear yourself? What spouse does that? Why would you invent a dumb excuse (her period) to cover up a medical reason? - Hope I am wrong.

Well we'll know when I get the insurance bills.

Back in the day -
I confronted my missus with a version of the talk. I said words to the effect -
- "I know you are wrestling with some difficulties at this time, and I am here for you as you do, but when you are better, we are going to have to figure out where, if anywhere, our marriage is going. But until then, I'm here for you".
All very noble of me I thought.
But - what I had done was supply her with a powerful incentive not to do anything about her issues. See, if I was committed to 'being there for her' until she dealt with her ****, it was in her best interests NOT to deal with her ****, because that would have precipitated a frank discussion of where our marriage was going and most likely it ending.
Run the clock on this situation of yours Brother M. If you have given an 'open ended' commitment, then you have shot yourself in the foot.
Tread your own path.

Let me see if I understand, your athlete wife had excruciating pain after a 9-mile run several weeks ago. However, she didn't bother to mention that pain including when you told her how much it hurt you not to have a sex life. Instead of mentioning it, she lied about having her period. She also didn't mention that pain when she took a hike or a 6-hour drive.

However, now that she probably has picked up the signs that you're considering divorcing her, she's mentioning the pain.

I will have to have a hip replacement and have suffered from hip pain so horrible that it took me 45 minutes to walk from my garage into my house. I had to use strong pain medication and a cane and had two bouts of physical therapy.

The last thing I would try to do with my hips is run!

Despite my pain, however, I still would have been able to have some kind of sex sex (but, unfortunately, was married to a refuser). The endorphins from the sex probably would have reduced my pain. Also, the pain was so severe that there was no way that I could hide it nor would I have made excuses that I was on my period. What would be the point of hiding severe hip pain.

So, my thinking is that while she has hip pain, it's not as severe as she's suggesting. I believe she is using every excuse possible to not have sex with you.

I'd also bet money that despite her alleged severe hip pain, she'll still manage to do other strenuous things like hiking, driving, etc. She somehow will just always be in too much pain for sex -- for the rest of your marriage.

I don't see any reason for you to feel like a sack of dung. You raised a reasonable concern with her. She could have told you about her pain, but she chose not to, and, frankly that makes me believe her pain is not as bad as she's trying to indicate.

Here Here Sister Mettamomma, well said. Totally agree

This information drastically alters the paradigm of your relationship doesn’t it? Many here are able but not willing but now it is clear she is, apparently, willing but not able. Associating sex with pain is generally not conducive to an improvement in any relationship. I too would give her all the support and time necessary to treat her condition and then gradually see if her physical discomfort was, in fact, the primary driver preventing her from being intimate with you in the first place.

On the other hand I suspect that reversing her aversion to sex (even though this may have been caused and reinforced through the negative association between sex and physical discomfort) may not be something simple to achieve even after her treatment(s). For the time being you may want to consider starting fresh, letting go of any sense of guilt (not a useful emotion), and doing all the necessary to look after her health without any pressure for sex. You have an opportunity to rebuild the parameters of your relationship and fix any underlying issues of trust and poor communication in the process. Additionally, you may find some comfort knowing that her constant rejection of you may have been driven by a physical condition that may be reversed.

Once she has recovered, gradually resume an intimate relationship but monitor the situation carefully. However, if you do not see an improvement in your sex life in the absence of further medical conditions (and there could be minor complications so be prepared) then you may consider resuming your search for a solution that may include separation or outsourcing as a viable option. In the meantime renew your membership here for the next few years. It is a potentially compelling “why” that you uncovered although the impact it has on your needs and desires is, if anything, going in the opposite direction.

In the absence of further information I would say your sex life will degenerate to a standstill in the medium term (0-300 days) but you may find you will be brought closer by the events that will follow: in essence low physicality but high emotional intimacy.

Good luck.

Wise words that I will definitely take to heart...thanks.

Let's hope that she does everything she needs to do, to regain her health and resume a normal lifestyle. It does bother me a bit that she wasn't totally upfront with you about the injury. I can't imagine being evasive about something if it's all innocent and there's no good reason to be evasive.

She might have a legitimate problem today but her previous years of crying wolf has not helped her current situation has it?

End of the day dont feel bad. She bought all this upon herself, especially with her not being truthful with you again.

Seek a second opinion, before surgery, explain that you will be there but her lack of honesty has dinted your trust, and above all do not let her turn this on you, cause your guilt today will be her weapon tomorrow.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

The lack of honesty does bother me and I let her know that. We'll see if the trend continues healthy or not, will definitely be a factor in the final outcome.

I have read your other story written 12 hours ago. When a marriage is sexless especially at such a young age never disreguard the possibillity that she may be cheating.

I also thought my wife would never be unfaithful but some discreet digging proved otherwise. I read the thought has passed your mind. Discreetly keeping an eye out will do you no harm.

I've been on here only for 2 days and I can't believe how I relate so well.

Dude, the one big thing you have going for you is when she came down in tears saying she realizes how unhappy you are. I have had the "talk" with my wife over and over and she never seemed to care. She didn't say it explicitly but I got the sense that she felt like "oh, that's too bad. Deal with it." I don't want to go through my whole story right now but soon will. I think I finally understand what is the problem with my marriage and I realize that there is no solution.

I wish you and your wife well. I think we are all in the same place when I say that if my wife had to go through the physical aliments that yours is going through, I would be by her side and support her through it all. Despite how she really feels about me. You will know soon enough if there is really any desire on her part to make the marriage work. Until then, take care of her and good luck.

If she is looking at hip replacement surgery, please, please, please get a 2nd opinion on the type of surgery.

A friend of mine went for hip "resurfacing", which is better for long term, especially at her young age. More durable and less revisions needed, if I understand it correctly.

Check out the teaching hospitals.

If you need a doctor's name, let me know and I will reach out to my friend. Hospital and doc is in NYC.

My best for a complete recovery for her physical ailment and for your marriage.

Agree here. My sis had resurfacing done. I would also be happy to get you her doc's name--supposedly he's THE surgeon in the US for that particular procedure. In California.

Sending my prayers, & positive thoughts your way, Dude! I REALLY hope things go well! The fact that she sees, & cares about your experience of the problem, is very hopeful... I just hope it's not the beginning of a life, of martyred celibacy for you! Hopes for her swift recovery, of her pain issues & sexuality!

Your a good man. Doing the right thing. You'll have a better marriage once the baggage gets unloaded . Hoping the best for you both.

Ok, she has a legitimate problem - now. What about the times that occurred before your talk? It is alright to feel badly about the one instance - what about later? From the tone of your post I gather that you will be around to support her thru and after the surgery. Will you let her know now that this is a temporary stop for you? You will be there to help her get well - will she be there later to ease your pain in the SM? I am a pessimist when it comes to a spouses promises to do better in the relationship - and now she has a new excuse. Just something to watch for. Make your own choices.

It was clear when we talked that sex is just not physically possible right now even after trying, and i told her I was ok with that. If things go back to the way they were after she is healthy we will deal with it then.

Why do you believe that her pain is so excruciating that she can't have sex? Has she been limping or barely walking? That's how I moved when I had severe hip pain. How did she manage to take a long hike and a 6-hour drive with hip pain that was severe?

I can't say what your relationship is like, but this will open up a whole new can of worms for her to work with in getting what she wants - a sexless marriage. Mettamomma is right to question the pain level too - can hike and do a 6 hour drive, is unable to have sex? How often can she postpone surgery for legitimate reasons to keep you at bay? At what point will she be "healthy" - are you waiting for her to tell you that? Just some points to think on - make your own choices.

I'm sure she is on the level. It sucks that she had to hide it but at least it is out there now. The fact that she even tried to have sex says a lot. You were right to just man up and support her...

as she recovers, she could always suck you off, right?

I won't even ask for that...from what I can tell she will be flat on her back for two weeks after each hip and a long road of at least 3 months of PT after each hip. What I can do is make sure she is comfortable and distract our boys (which she feels guilty about too... She won't be able to do her normal activities with them). Because that is what my heart and head tells me is right.

Maybe your relationship will be stronger in the end!

But she COULD suck you off today, right? I mean any person that wants to have sex with their partner straight after surgery is a heartless *******, but that's not what we're talking about here. This issue may be as bad as what she's saying, I don't think it is, but it might be. Even so, this doesn't prevent her from working on intimacy issues RIGHT NOW, today. She finds penetrative sex painful. Fine. Mutual ************ is awesome, too. Sometimes it's even more intimate than PIV sex.